USA 2004 Honeymoon

60 days across North America

Minneapolis - Montreal

Dates : 08/15/2004 to 08/22/2004

Already half way through our trip and still so many sites and cities to discover


After visiting Minneapolis/St-Paul (the Twin Cities separated by the Missouri river), we drove North to discover the immense natural border between the US and Canada: Lake Superior. The deepest and biggest lake in the world - twice the size of Switzerland. For some unknown reason we could not see the Ontario coast on the other side (hmm)… The local Geneva is Duluth, a charming port city located on the far western side of the lake. The resemblance stops there though...

Then on to Wisconsin, the « Dairyland » of the US where cheese is queen. With farms the size of ranches everywhere, it seemed normal for us to help the locals with hay bundles…

After that hard labor we followed the last few hours of the PGA championship at Whistling Straits Golf Course located near Green Bay. Christophe would love to play on a course where most of the holes on the back nine offer such beautiful views of Lake Michigan. One thing is for sure, golf is a very popular game in the US, but you get a better and closer look on the players and balls by watching the event on TV.

Pressed by time, we only drove near the Lambeau Field in Green Bay without seeing it (only Football fans will understand).

Laetitia’s share for the Winter

Wisconsin, USA

Christophe—The hay winner

Wisconsin, USA

We spent the night an hour away in Milwaukee. With the German origin of its first settlers, this city managed to find a good industrial mix: motorcycles with Harley Davidson and beer with Miller.

We tried to ride the buses to tour downtown, but we did not find any maps at the bus stops (guess the Swiss public transport is not that badly organized after all), so our feet took us to Brady street that our tour guides recommended. We were not impressed and decided to head to Chicago...

We exchanged the Ford against two Harleys for the rest of the trip

Milwaukee, WI

Short rest at Lake Superior, WI

Chicago was 10 years ago THE basketball capital of the world and only one face represented it for us: Michael Jordan. There actually is much more to this city than that : pizzas, the « L » (as in eLevated train), its destructive fire of 1891, its architects, its museums (yes, we dared go to the Art Museum and Science Museum) without forgetting the Sears Tower with its height of 1440 feet and its 20,000 miles of phone lines ! And since Jordan has now left the premises, we went on a pilgrimage to the United Center, the Chicago Bulls stadium. We did not have enough time to fully discover the city, but we really enjoyed it and it definitely is very different from Denver! We also have to note the 5 star hospitality of the Filusch, where we spent a wonderful couple of nights and who, amongst other enjoyable moments, gave us a tour of the Northwestern campus « by night ».

« God in basketball shoes », dixit Larry Bird

Sears Tower, Chicago, IL

Flower power

Chicago, IL

Then off East with a hectic drive through Ohio with torrential rain: aquaplaning the entire length of the state... It was our first day of really bad weather in four weeks, but even with the incredible force of the storms, our good luck charms (mosquitoes and other non-identified bugs) that we picked up in Montana and South Dakota are still on the bumper of the car


Pennsylvania was our next state for our stop in Pittsburgh. The arrival in the city coming from the South-East is amazing: only thing on the horizon is forest, then all of a sudden a tunnel and at its exit a huge bridge that brings you in the center of the tall buildings of downtown Pittsburgh. This city is surrounded by two rivers that meet at the « Gold Triangle » to form a third. Over 30 bridges are spread out to allow access to all sides of the water. Another specialty of the city is that it seems that all buildings, museums, schools, are called Carnegie, Mellon or Heinz (and sometimes a mix of the three) proving that it still cherishes its formal industrial leaders that thought of everything except creating parkings downtown that are tall enough for big cars… Impossible to park our SUV in a covered parking because of maximum height of 6 feet (Expedition’s clearance is 6”3’). We hope parkings in Canada will be more accessible.

Hazy Pittsburgh, PA

« no bridge », Pulitzer collection

What a sight! No wonder its the honeymooner’s destination in the continental US. The Niagara Falls offer an incredible panorama on millions of cubic feet of water that forcefully fall on Canadian soil for the greatest joy of local tourism. In the Summer, it is actually over 12,500 bathtubs worth of water that fall with thundering noise 180 feet lower while offering wonderful rainbows for the delight of the eyes. And as the volunteer from the visitor’s center explained: « the falls are well separated: the Americans have the falls, the Canadians have the view ». A boat ride brought us right under the falls for an astonishing view on the falls from below (and a great misty shower at the same time).

Selling backpacks...

Niagara City, ON, Canada

A scared stunt man

Niagara Falls, NY, USA

View of the waterfalls from the water

Niagara Falls, NY, USA

We are now in Canada, enjoying the charms of Toronto, a small town of 2.5 million along Lake Ontario. The main attraction is the CN Tower with a height of over 1800 feet (two times higher than the Eiffel Tower) making it the highest building in the world (for the moment). Its elevators rise at the speed of 72 feet per second and the weight of the tower can be compared to 23,000 elephants piled up one on another (fun image…).

We find the road signs to be lacking and roads to be in poor condition, but highways can be impressive when you find yourself on a highway in the middle of a highway (2 times 4 lanes per direction equal 16 lanes wide…)

This evening we are covering the 350 miles separating Toronto from Montreal. Spirits are good, we would appreciate a day « to do nothing » (in other words: we need a vacation), we do not miss camping, Canadians are aggressive drivers. Off to test our knowledge of Canadian French before returning to the US to see beautiful Atlantic and eat Lobster!

The Carnaval has begun

Toronto, ON, Canada

Just finished eating

Toronto, ON, Canada